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Humidity and What it will do to Your Printer

From the Printware Blog on Tuesday 8th July 2014 in Consumer Advice

High humidity can affect your printer

For the past few days we have enjoyed some glorious weather on our fair isle, and while the cynics will dismiss it as a temporary privilege, the majority hope it stays for the duration. However, while you should endeavour to make the most of sunny days, for those of us who work in offices humidity can do more than make you feel hot and bothered; it can actually reduce the effectiveness of your printer.

As we are all aware, humidity is all down to the amount of moisture in the air, and the higher the humidity the more sticky things tend to become. Unfortunately, not unlike people, printers tend to get a bit short tempered in hot weather as well.

So, what does humidity do to printers and how can you avoid it? 

High Humidity

While the printer and its mechanisms will be largely unaffected by the high humidity, ink and paper quality can begin to suffer.

Look after your inkjet printer when the humidity changes


  • High humidity is a real problem for inkjet printers, as the ink is unable to dry properly making it more prone to smudging. Also, you may notice that the ink begins to seep through the page; this is made all the worse by the fact that the paper is saturated with water vapour...
  • Colour laser printers are not immune either, as the pages are more likely to stick together and the toner may not take as well to the page or even flake off, leaving unsightly blank spaces.
  • As for paper? Well, all that excess moisture in the air can warp its shape, making it appear wavy or cratered. Needless to say, this is not ideal for printing as it can lead to paper jams.

Low Humidity

If the air isn’t too wet, it can also be too dry, and low humidity has its own set of problems when it comes to printing.

  • In this sort of environment, paper can actually shrink which can increase the likelihood of paper jams.
  • Like in high humidity, pages can stick together which can cause printing errors and, you guessed it, paper jams.
  • As for ink, it can sometimes appear more faded than usual.

The Solution

Keep the humidity in your office stable to protect your printers, ink, toner and paper

Well, short of buying half a dozen desk fans and placing them in strategic locations, there are a few tricks you can employ to ensure that, even on the muggiest of days, your paper, ink and printers are kept in good condition.

Depending on how humid or dry the office is, it might be best to consider moving your printer to a better, albeit temporary, location. If possible, move the printer to a cool dry place and store any paper or ink there as well for the duration of the hot spell.

As for the office itself, try to keep it as ventilated or alternatively heated as possible. This will ensure a comfortable environment, not just for employees, but also for any printing accessories. As for paper, try to keep it in a suitable location and only open packets when you need to. Better yet, ensure you can store them in re-sealable bags if at all possible.

For more information on printing and helpful tips, please browse the rest of our blog. However, if you have any specific questions or enquiries in regards to our extensive range of printers and consumables then do not hesitate to get in touch through our contact page.

Posted in Consumer Advice

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